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Withdrawing motions and Unfinished Business


Guest Mary Hruska

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Guest Mary Hruska

Hello!

I would like to know if a motion that was not heard during a meeting can simply be withdrawn by its sponsor prior to the next meeting agenda being created.

Or must it be listed as Unfinished Business on the next agenda and then withdrawn at the meeting.

Thank you in advance:)

 

 

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8 hours ago, Guest Mary Hruska said:

I would like to know if a motion that was not heard during a meeting can simply be withdrawn by its sponsor prior to the next meeting agenda being created.

Or must it be listed as Unfinished Business on the next agenda and then withdrawn at the meeting.

I don't know that we have enough facts regarding what the situation was with this motion in the first place or why it was not heard. My guess is that the motion was listed on the agenda for the meeting in question and the meeting adjourned prior to the item being reached. If this is correct, then the motion would have been an order of the day for that meeting, and it would become Unfinished Business for the next regular meeting, if that meeting is within a quarterly interval.

"By a single vote, a series of special orders or general orders—or a mixture of both—can be made; such a series is called an agenda. When an hour is assigned to a particular subject in an agenda, that subject is thereby made a special order unless, by footnote or other means, it is stated that the time is intended merely for guidance, in which case the subject is only a general order. Subjects for which no hour is specified in an agenda are general orders." RONR (12th ed.) 41:58

"The heading of Unfinished Business and General Orders includes items of business in the four categories that are listed below in the order in which they are taken up. Of these, the first three constitute “Unfinished Business,” while the fourth consists of “General Orders”:

...

c) Any questions which, by postponement or otherwise, were set as general orders for the previous meeting, or for a particular hour during that meeting, but were not reached before it adjourned—taken in the order in which the general orders were made." RONR (12th ed.) 41:23

I do not think that the "sponsor" of the motion may prevent the item from being Unfinished Business in these circumstances. Of course, if the chair announces this as the next order of the day and neither the member nor anyone else makes a motion relating to it, then I suppose the matter is disposed of and the assembly would simply move on. There is no need to formally "withdraw" the motion since it has not yet been made.

22 minutes ago, Hieu H. Huynh said:

It could be left off the agenda.

I agree that this is technically correct, but I think it is misleading. If an item is set as a general order for a meeting and is not reached prior to adjournment, it becomes Unfinished Business for the next regular meeting if that meeting is within a quarterly interval. The assembly (if it adopts an agenda) is certainly under no obligation to place this item on the agenda, but failure to place the item on the agenda does not change the fact that the item is Unfinished Business for that meeting.

Edited by Josh Martin
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